The Top Reasons SEO Campaigns Fail (and Tips to Succeed)

SEO isn’t something you can approach haphazardly. It’s tough enough even if you know what you’re doing and have tons of success in this space. So if you’re new to SEO, then it’s even more difficult.

Rather than going through a series of a trial and error, it’s obviously in your best interest to get things right from day one. This will save you a ton of money and generate a higher ROI for your efforts.

And in my experience, there are six main reasons why SEO campaigns fail. I’ve identified each one below so you can prevent each of these from happening to you.

Reason #1 – Targeting the Wrong Keywords

If you don’t include high, medium, and low-traffic keywords, your campaign will not be fully successful. The low-hanging fruit for any business is keyphrases that are three words or more. Yes, these will have far smaller amounts of traffic searching for them, but you need to get your keywords to the top of page one of the search results. You do that with long tail keywords that get some traffic (approximately 200+ searches a month) and have low competition.

Reason #2 – Not Having a Complete Plan

You need to have all the steps in place, from exhaustive keyword research and site-friendly design analysis to optimization and tracking implementation. Don’t forget that this war is waged on-page and off-page. Content, links, engagement, and social citations must work together.

Reason #3 – Not Implementing SEO Suggestions/“Code”

Not putting new SEO “code” on your pages or making suggested edits is a far too common reason for poor results. Campaigns need all facets of SEO to be implemented for the full benefits to be obtained.

Reason #4 – Not Tracking and Then Editing Based on Findings

If you don’t analyze your results, you can’t expect to make changes that will take the marketing campaign to the next level. When it comes to keywords, you have the ability to get smarter with your efforts on a daily, weekly, and, especially, on a monthly basis. Take full advantage of that and let visitor behavior (as seen through Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools) tell you what your best keywords are. Why guess when you don’t have to?

Reason #5 – Not Giving Continued Input to the SEO Agency

If you don’t offer input on why you may not be converting on certain keyphrases, your SEO may not be able to discern what keyphrases would be better. Work together using your knowledge of your business and the SEO’s research and implementation skills.

Reason # 6 – Giving Up Too Soon Without Making Adjustments

The companies that say “SEO failed” are usually the ones that expected to do it once and then not make further edits to the site. If you track what works and what doesn’t, and make changes to pages that have lots of traffic but few conversions, you can make more out of the traffic you already have. All most people want is more traffic, which should lead to more conversions. But what about the traffic you already have? It can often be easier to make better use of existing customers than to bring in new traffic. This requires that you take a fresh approach to how you are “converting” people on each page. If your conversion rate is terrible, more traffic might not help much, and you can’t blame SEO for that.

Keep in mind that some campaigns bring results in a matter of weeks or months, while others blossom over many months or a year later. Especially with new websites, be aware that rankings can take a while to mature, especially if you have just implemented a links campaign. Google wants to assign your site the right “overall value” to the rest of the web. They can only do that over a considerable amount of time.

Organic Search Tips to Ensure Your SEO Campaigns Succeed

In addition to avoiding the most common SEO mistakes covered above, you can increase your chances of success by implementing the following tips along with your strategy:

Design your website with optimization in mind. 

Search engine spiders crawl text, not Flash-based design. Make sure your page names, file names, image alts, and other tags contain keywords, and make sure you have keyword harmony on each of your pages so it is CLEAR to the search engines what those pages are about. Keep navigation clear and clean – optimize for people, too.

Content is king, queen, prince, and princess.

Good content that is keyword rich and offers the people reading your website something interesting, fun, or engaging. Consider how many individual pages of content the big players in your industry have on their sites. Aim high when it comes to content.

Network and always be on the lookout for guest posting and link opportunities.

Network with influential bloggers and people who are well placed to spread your message to a large, receptive audience. When these types of trustworthy people link to your website, you look great in the eyes of Google and the other search engines.

Make sure that your content is unique. 

If you have product descriptions on your site and these are taken directly from the manufacturer, that’s probably the same content that’s on hundreds of other sites and it’s weakening your SEO. Replace all duplicate content – taken from your own site or elsewhere – with original content.

Backlinks are essential to organic SEO.

So spend some time building those backlinks. Ideally from websites that are high quality, from .edu or .gov sources, and pertinent to your industry. You can acquire these naturally by producing great content that people link to. In the absence of those, you can still get backlinks with press releases and articles submitted to content directories.

Don’t try to optimize for too many keywords at once.

Each page of your website should be optimized for one or two keywords. That will make linking with anchor text easier in the long run.

Don’t worry about file extensions, just page names. 

Your rankings won’t be affected by .html, .htm, .asp, .php, etc., so don’t sweat them. Thus far, Google has not assigned more weight to one file extension type over another. It could happen in the future, sure, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Expect the unexpected, and prepare to adjust.

The SEO landscape is always changing, so don’t expect your optimization efforts to be a one-time, set it and forget it kind of thing. At minimum, you should be assessing your keywords’ effectiveness and adjusting your SEO as necessary every six months.

Set a regular blog cadence and publishing schedule that you can stick to.

Blog regularly at the blog that you’ve set up on your website (not on a free site like Blogger or WordPress, since that does nothing for your search engine rankings). By regularly, we mean at least once a week. Ideally, three times a week on a set schedule, like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Your blog will give others something to link to and show the search engines that you are putting out new content like a boss.

Common SEO Pain Points and Fears From Internet Marketers

You’re not always going to have all the answers. And that’s totally fine.

Internet marketing is tough, and you may wake up in the middle of the night from time-to-time wracking your brain over something that’s bothering you. To help show that you’re not alone, here are some of the most common troubles that we hear from clients we’re consulting with:

  • SEO is overwhelming
  • How do you choose what SEO tactics to use?
  • Should I hire an internet marketing company or SEO agency?
  • I wish there was a clear path or simple strategy to follow
  • I get the importance of SEO but I can’t get buy in from my boss
  • What should my budget be for online marketing and SEO?
  • How do I allocate that budget across content creation and different campaigns?
  • How do I know what’s BS and when SEO agencies are telling the truth?
  • Why isn’t my agency more proactive in telling me what we should be doing?
  • Will Google be replaced by something like Duck Duck Go?
  • Should I be using AI to write my blogs?

If you can relate to any of these questions or pain points, then you could probably use some help with SEO. Fortunately, my team has the answers you’re looking for.

Just book a free consultation to get started. We’ll get aligned and see if it’s a good fit for your brand.

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